The Clash - Joe Strummer
The Clash – Joe Strummer – If there was one band that mattered. . . .

The Clash – in concert at Rettel Festival in France – recorded on June 14, 1980.

As something of a direct contrast in genres, between my post last night by Hanoi Rocks in 1984 and today’s post of The Clash, in concert at the Rettel Festival in 1980 – you get some idea of the scope and range the 80s had in Pop Music. The fact that they could all exist in pretty much the same shelf space was a testimony to the audience’s wide-ranging taste in music.

The Clash were something special though. Self-proclaimed as “the only band that matters”, there was a goodly amount of hype associated with them. But they did deliver, and they were one of the more exciting bands to see live during the 80s. Not that they were showy, or of the “arena rock” variety – but that they were committed to what they were doing and the energy was infectious. They were also politically aware at a time when there was a considerable amount of disenchantment going on Britain (the Thatcher years). And so they represented a voice of protest, a bellwether of the times – and that appeal was universal.

They were also one of the first Punk bands to become huge and have worldwide recognition. This concert, recorded at the Rettel Festival in Lorraine, France in June of 1980 comes as London Calling was getting rave reviews. It was also just a few months ahead of the release of Sandinista! which further cemented their popularity.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration that The Clash helped define the 80s musically – by combining Punk with later aspects of Dub, Reggae and early Hip-hop, they maintained a freshness about them that kept them at the top of their game, until things started to fall apart. But that’s another story.

If you missed them the first time around or have only recently revisited them – here is one of the reasons they were as big as they were at the time. Certainly a band not to be missed.

Play loud.

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